October 5th 2015
The Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM) expresses its grief and condolences to the relatives and close friends of the three women who died in the artisanal mine of Bantaco last Thursday.
Even in normal conditions, mining is very dangerous in Bantaco, located alongside the Gambia River. It is even more risky during the rainy season because it is exposed to landslides and flooding. Despite regulations prohibiting any mining activity in the rainy season, many people motivated by the lack of money in this resource scarce period, return to the mining sites in an attempt to improve their precarious economic situation. The Bantaco mining community and the entire region of Kédougou were very affected by the three-month extension of the prohibition period enacted by a presidential decree. As the prohibition was lifted, miners began resuming their work trying to compensate and recover from the delay of the season, which usually starts in November (and only started in February this year).